I thought I'd start a new post to detail Chicago's chances of getting the 6th seed, following the results of the Detroit game -- given that the top 5 East seeds are now set in stone, most of my previous post was irrelevant.
6. Chicago: 41-40 (2-2 season series with Philadelphia, 3-1 season series with Detroit, 9-7 division record, 24-27 conference record). Remaining games are vs. Toronto.
7. Philadelphia: 40-40 (2-1 season series with Detroit, 6-9 division record, 24-26 conference record). Remaining games are vs. Boston and @ Cleveland.
8. Detroit: 39-42 (7-9 division record, 26-25 conference record). Remaining games are @ Miami (NOTE: Detroit cannot finish higher than 8th, because it has lost the season series to both Chicago and Philadelphia).
Order of Tiebreakers (when two teams are tied)
1. Better winning percentage in games against each other.
2. Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if tied teams are in same division).
3. Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
NB: There are other tiebreakers, but none that would factor into this chase as conference record will resolve a Chicago-Philadelphia tiebreaker in all scenarios.
Scenarios & Implications
1. Chicago and Philadelphia win all their remaining games -- Both teams finish at 42-40 and Philadelphia wins the 6th seed (by virtue of better conference record). Chicago plays Boston.
2. Chicago wins its remaining game and Philadelphia loses both, or one, of its games -- Chicago finishes 42-40, Philadelphia finishes 40-42 or 41-41. Chicago wins the 6th seed and plays Orlando.
3. Chicago loses its remaining game and Philadelphia wins both its games -- Chicago finishes 41-41, Philadelphia finishes 42-40. Philadelphia wins the 6th seed. Chicago plays Boston.
4. Chicago loses its remaining game and Philadelphia wins one of its two games (irrelevant which one). Both teams finish at 41-41 and Philadelphia wins the 6th seed (by virtue of better conference record). Chicago plays Boston.
The basic point is that Chicago would lose the tiebreaker to Philadelphia. Thus, it would seem that playing Boston remains the most likely scenario on the surface. However, I would think that Chicago beating Toronto at the United Center and a struggling Philadelphia losing to both Boston and Cleveland is a strong possibility.